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Hong Kong rescue services

Success of ‘Anyone’ in Hong Kong proves the value of thinking outside the box

  • The Fire Services Department mascot is not just genius marketing, it is living proof of what creativity and daring to think outside the box can achieve
PUBLISHED : Saturday, 22 December, 2018, 3:04pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 22 December, 2018, 3:04pm

Recently, the Fire Services Department’s new mascot “Anyone” caused a buzz on the internet for its quirkiness. Surprisingly, in a society notorious for its cynicism, the mascot was well received and many companies and personalities joined in welcoming the Anyone phenomenon. Therein lies a lesson.

Hong Kong prides itself on its “Lion Rock spirit”, which includes a spirit of daring and tradition of community support. Sadly, this trend is fading – instead, a steady job and a flat sometime in the near future is what motivates everyone.

What “Anyone” embodies isn’t just the Fire Services Department’s genius marketing; the mascot is living proof of what creativity and daring to think outside the box can bring to the table.

Perhaps because of our steady economy, the new generation (including mine) rarely dream of starting their own businesses or seeking novel opportunities. The stability of our society has gradually blunted our edge, phasing out the Lion Rock spirit. Most of us are afraid of change, unwilling to bear the risk of losing a little or deviating from our steady but simple lives. We want everything to stay as it is and we whip up a storm when things change.

“Anyone” generated a healthy wave to spread the idea that anyone can play a role to save someone in a life-or-death situation. Just how long has it been since we last saw an approach to marketing of this calibre? We fixated on the expiration of the old society so much that we lost our creativity, or discouraged ourselves from even trying to be different: afraid of losing to the point where daring to be different became fantasy talk.

The inside story of Anyone: Hong Kong’s favourite weird blue mascot

“Anyone” is not just a mascot for the Fire Services Department, or a meme on the internet: it is a reminder to all of Hong Kong that out-of-the-box thinking works.

Andy Lau, Tsuen Wan